Current US President Bush has made it a national priority once again to establish the national missile defense just as President Reagan did. The cost of this program may exceed 150 billion dollars in the next ten years making it one of the most expensive projects in America’s history in the next ten years (Cite Esiendrath). The current administration at the white house plans to increase US national security through this so called missile shield, but will only aggravate the situation. The national missile defense will deepen tensions between current allies, the emerging power such as China, and an old foe, Russia.
As a result these countries would start a new international arms race, and aggressively pursuit to increase their nuclear, chemical, and biological weapon stockpiles. The national missile defense issue has been brought up by the Bush Administration, due to the fact of arising exaggerated threats from “rogues states” such as North Korea, Iraq, and Iran; the latter being invaded by the United States based on a falsehood of it having WMDs (Cite Esiendrath). Its has become evident in the past couple of years that use of cowboy politics used by the current superpower is unacceptable.
This policy basically is shoot first ask questions later, it focuses on heavy defensive building. Bush has asked for around 48 billion dollars in defense spending. Diplomacy and nuclear deterrence is needed at this current stage to address America’s and Canada’s security needs and goals, not a hopeless dream of creating an anti nuclear blanket over North America when the threat doesn’t exist. The issue of missile defense arised back in May 1, 2001, where President George W. Bush made I clear the United States would move towards deploying an extensive and expensive anti-ballistic missile shield against nuclear missiles(cite estrdian pg1).
This shield was not aimed at America’s old enemy Russia but at other rogue states. Bush’s predecessor Clinton deferred from the national missile defense due to the fact the technology was not available or tested at various levels. Clinton was against the missile shied due to several reasons: the system not technologically possible, had failed on numerous tests; it could be easily foiled by decoys and system failures, and most importantly Russian, China, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization objected to it (Cite Estridan 2).
Furthermore, this installment of the shield would be against the 1972 Anti-Ballistic missile treaty and the current arms control agreements (cite estridian). The Missile defense program was originally brought up during the cold war in way to protect the nation from an all out nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. The Anti-Ballistic missile treaty was signed as a result of countless failures of the missile shield from both sides. Planners at the pentagon and soviet military hierarchy concluded that such a massive system would never work and the money could be allocated to other parts of the military needed to guarantee U.
S and Soviet Security (cite ectrian). In today’s world, no country on the planet can attempt to challenge the United States militarily just as the soviets did during the Cold war. The argument now from the Bush Administration side is the defense system is generally needed to curb the threat from rogue states and terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida. These rogue states include Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. The cost of program estimated at over a 100 billion dollars would be better served in spending it on education, infrastructure, and the environment combat global warming where the money is truly needed.
Diplomacy through arms reductions, reduction of regional tensions should be held center stage in providing security to the world. Why is the Missile defense program being pursued so actively? The weapons industry and weapon labs greatly benefit from either extending their lucrative contracts or acquiring them. The politicians are helping the weapons industry because they got into office through financial campaign donations from these actors (Cite Estridian). A Ballistic Missile is a missile that is self-propelled in the launching stage, which then freely falls freely in its descent to its target(cite Estirdina).
With the advancement of technology the missiles range and warhead capacity increased heavily. To counter the threat of ballistic missiles, anti ballistic missile systems were attempted to be brought into active duty. Anti-ballistic missile systems are programmed to intercept and shoot down an incoming nuclear warhead ( cite estridian). During the cold war, the missile defense proved to be incompetent as the Soviet Union arsenal of thousands of nuclear armed missiles would overrun and swarm the defense system as the system wouldn’t have enough missiles to match the attack(cite endiriate).
The Soviets strategy proved to be cheaper and more effective as they would simply develop more missiles. As a result the anti-ballistic missile treaty was formed, to deter both sides from continuing to develop offensive weapons. The aim of the missile defense systems prior to Reagan’s presidency was to deter enough missiles in order to give the United States enough functional silos to retaliate. In this case number of large U. S cities would be annihilated but, the military would have a few options left on counterattacking.
During the Reagan era the Star Wars initiative was introduced. Star wars unlike other defenses would be used as a sole defensive system and protect the civilian population(cite eriterian 13). Clinton ” I simply cannot conclude with the information I have today that we have enough confidence in the technology, and the operational effectiveness of the entire NMD system , to move forward to deployment”(cite eriterian 24). Economic benefits of having the national missile defense program.
This system provides jobs and a steady income for over ten million Americans in the south and west of the country per year (cite ertierian 36. ). there is a strong lobby pushing to activate the missile defense program due to the connections the military industry has with the pentagon. A lot of these contractors hire retired generals or high ranking military personnel to sit on their boards(cite eriterian). This tactic keeps everyone connected and eases the chances of getting lucrative contracts and go ahead to military projects.
The reigning superpower, the United States would only be attacked using Weapons of mass destruction only in act of desperation. As is it is the only superpower the country targeting it would be writing its own death warrant. These desperate acts can be avoided by the United States seeking dialogue diplomatically and giving economic benefits as rewards. Only two countries currently can target the North American continent, those countries being Russia and China. Potential countries in the future could threaten the North American continent are North Korean and Iran.
North Korea’s program is being developed to spark world wide attention to its dire economic needs. The country is suffering isolated from the internal community, suffering a horrific famine, and under economic sanctions. In the past sanctions lifted from North Korean have showed them willing to negotiate in lifting its missile program(cite eriterian 75). More important the presence of US troops on the South Korean peninsula has kept the North from using any nuclear capabilities against its neighbor or the American continent (cite 75).
The presence of US troops highlights the fact that North Korea is minutes away from an all out counterattack if it provokes in any way militarily. Unfortunately, in recent times the Bush Administration has shunned, ignored, and rejected talks with North Korea over its nuclear program and economy. This has resulted in the country testing an atomic weapon, in order to get world wide attention, so it can force the U. S and its regional neighbors into talks. Iran has accelerated its nuclear program in response to President Bush labeling it as an “axis of evil”, and US military invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Iran has concluded that if it possess nuclear weapons the US will think twice before invading it. Iran’s goal is not to threaten U. S soil, but to challenge its authority in the Middle East by establishing itself as the superpower of its region (cite ecriterian 79). According to a recent leaked CIA report, it “found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program running parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency”(cite http://www. truthout. org/docs_2006/112006S.
shtml). Anti-ballistic missile defense will simply not work. A missile’s payload is not limited to one warhead, it can carry multiple warheads. Some of the missiles warheads may carry decoys, thus confusing the enemy’s interceptor system causing to fail to destroy the warhead. Chemical and Biological weapons can be carried on a ballistic missile, however, they’re not as lethal as nuclear weapons. Biological agents sometimes fail to perform during direct sunlight and can have negative reactions to environmental conditions (cite erterian 90).